College of Public Health and Health Professions employees Amy Cantrell, Brigit Dermott, Carol Mills and Christa Roberts have been named UF Superior Accomplishment award winners in the Health Science Center division. They will be honored at a luncheon March 12.
The award program recognizes employees who contribute outstanding service, efficiency and/or economy to the university, or play a role in the quality of life provided to students and employees. Health Science Center division winners are submitted as nominees to compete for the university-level Superior Accomplishment Awards.
Amy Cantrell, Ph.D., a clinical assistant professor in the department of biostatistics in the College of Public Health and Health Professions and the College of Medicine, is known as an enthusiastic and engaging instructor who is devoted to providing a positive learning experience for her students.
“In all of the classes that I have taken at the college level, I have never met a professor who is as dedicated to teaching and takes learning to the level that she does,” a student wrote.
Cantrell teaches biostatistical methods to master’s and doctoral students and serves as the biostatistics concentration coordinator for the Master of Public Health program.
“Dr. Cantrell consistently earns very high student evaluation scores for the courses she teaches, which is particularly impressive as the courses are taught to large audiences of non-statisticians, a group that is typically difficult to please,” a colleague said.
In recent years Cantrell has completely revamped her courses to a blended learning format that allows students to spend active time in the classroom completing assignments. Foundation materials, such as lectures and exercises, are available to students online. One student called Cantrell’s class website and course materials “the most flawlessly organized that I’ve ever seen.”
Brigit Dermott, administrative coordinator in the dean’s office, works in a demanding and fast-paced environment yet she remains “unflappable,” co-workers said, and she is always ready to help a colleague no matter how many projects she already has on her plate.
Nominators said Dermott regularly seeks new assignments, such as event coordination, committee involvement, accreditation preparation and electronic communications, and she excels at each.
“She often volunteers to assist with tasks that have been ‘unassigned’ and consistently completes them correctly and creatively,” a fellow employee said. “Brigit exemplifies the spirit of teamwork that permeates the dean’s office, one that derives from an understanding that by helping each other, we all further the goals of the college.”
Among Dermott’s duties is coordinating arrangements for college visitors, including prospective faculty members and distinguished scholars. She stays on top of every detail and draws praise from visitors for the welcoming environment she creates, colleagues said.
“She is a dedicated, diligent, conscientious, creative and compassionate individual who approaches each facet of her work in a thoughtful and effective manner,” a co-worker said. “She is a superb ambassador for our college and for the University of Florida.”
Carol Mills, accountant/business manager in the department of speech, language, and hearing sciences, is described by her colleagues as dedicated, approachable, caring and “a major cohesive force in our department.”
Co-workers praised Mills’ vast knowledge of fiscal policies and procedures and her willingness to share her expertise with others, both within her department and throughout the college.
“As a colleague Carol is both friend and teammate,” a nominator wrote. “She gently encourages, along with directs, personnel to ensure the most effective outcome for all. In what is often a confusing array of forms and procedures, she somehow makes sense of it all, finding the time to both assist and educate us on processes vital to the running of a PHHP department.”
Mills has stepped in to take on extra duties during times of department transition, colleagues said. Her efforts ensure that department operations continue to run smoothly and faculty, staff and students experience a positive work environment.
“Carol ‘believes’ in this department,” a co-worker said. “Her concern for our welfare is genuine and she always has time for a brief chat about nearly any business aspect of the department. She knows the system here and is an absolutely invaluable asset to this department and the college.”
Christa Roberts, business manager in the department of environmental and global health, continually takes on new responsibilities and challenges, and she has played a significant role in the success of a new and growing department, co-workers said.
“In each of her roles with the department, she has demonstrated the ability to quickly grasp new concepts and adapt to frequently changing priorities,” a colleague said. “In nearly three years working with Christa, I have found no task that she cannot master.”
Nominators cited her dedication to faculty and staff and the special role she has in the lives of the department’s students. Roberts frequently volunteers to help on evenings and weekends to ensure the success of the department’s programs. She willingly acts as a friend and mentor for new students by providing transportation assistance, advice on local establishments, and engaging in extracurricular activities, a colleague said.
Roberts also received accolades for her creative contributions, including developing the department website, and producing newsletters, brochures and other materials that promote the department.
“Christa is an outstanding employee who without a doubt goes above and beyond to support the department,” a nominator said. “She is a hard-working, enthusiastic and talented team player who continues to make the department shine and advance to the next level.”